How did Hitler's foreign policy from 1933 to 1939 lead to war?
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Hitler's foreign policy led to war by being so aggressive that eventually the French and British could no longer ignore the fact that Hitler was trying to gain a dominant position in Europe.
Hitler's foreign policy was one of expansion. He used the idea that the Treaty of Versailles was unfair to Germans as a pretext for this expansion. He used it (along with the idea of self-determination for all ethnic groups) to justify the Anschlusswith Austria. He used it to demand that the Sudetenland be given to Germany. He then used it to demand and get all of the rest of Czechoslovakia. When he finally used this rationale to invade Poland, the war started.
Hitler, then, followed a very aggressive and expansionist foreign policy. This eventually led the French and British to be alarmed enough to declare war.
Hitler’s foreign policy was pegged on the Nazi Party policies which sought to bring to an end Germany’s restrictions under the Versailles treaty, promote Germany’s re-armament, expand Germany’s living space, unite all people who spoke German and spread the Nazi ideology across the world. Hitler knew that to achieve all the above, war was inevitable. The first thing he did was to pull Germany out of the League of Nations in 1933. After this, he strategically entered into pacts with several nations to the benefit of Germany by actualizing its expansionist and rearmament agendas. In addition to that, Germany intentionally flouted everything that had been stipulated by the treaty of Versailles. For instance, Germany contravened its non-aggression treaty with Poland and invaded it in 1934. In 1935, Hitler publicly announced Germany’s military position including its status on arms, war planes and robust size of the army.
In June 1935, the Anglo-German Naval Agreement was signed allowing Germany to expand its number of war ships and submarines. In 1936, Hitler expanded into Rhineland and remilitarized it. In November of that same year, Germany fortified both its military and diplomatic positions against Britain, France and Russia through the Rome-Berlin Axis Agreement and the Anti-Comintern Pact with Japan. In 1939, Germany went against the Munich Agreement that had prohibited it from occupying Sudetenland. The final push came in 1939 when Germany invaded Poland, forcing Britain and France to declare war on Germany.
In summary, Hitler’s expansionist agenda, which he attained through contravening the treaty of Versailles and peace measures outlined by the League of Nations, culminated into the Second World War.
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